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What is the difference between passive and active solar energy?

Currently the concept of solar energy It's on everyone's lips.

Out of necessity and to mitigate the environmental impact and global warming, numerous countries around the world have incorporated environmental policies that promote and encourage the use of technologies focused on renewable energy.

The concept of solar energy is still something new for most people, and the topic is enough for many articles, but for the moment and to begin to soak up the topic we can start with the following question:

What types of solar energy exist and which of them can I implement in my home?

Broadly speaking, we can define two general groups of solar energy to use in buildings, which we explain below:

  • Passive solar energy
  • active solar energy

What is passive solar energy?

Passive solar energy is the oldest method of harnessing solar radiation. It was already used by ancient cultures around the world in order to adapt to the climatic conditions of their territory.

The objective of the passive method is to obtain solar energy directly, to be used as a thermal and light source, without going through intermediate processes, equipment or some type of technology that transforms it into another type of energy.

In this way, through design and construction methods of the home, orientation and location, strategic openings in the façade or roof, materials and other foundations based on bioclimatic architecture, it is possible to make the most of the renewable resources of our star to maintain climatic comfort in our homes.

And active solar energy?

Active solar energy, on the other hand, consists of taking advantage of solar radiation, and then transforming it through external engineering and technology facilities into another type of energy such as:

  • solar thermal energy: Used for heating and hot water through solar collectors.
  • photovoltaic solar energy: Used to produce electricity through solar panels

As you can see, the difference between passive and active solar energy lies mainly in the way of taking advantage of the radiation from our sun, allowing not only one, but several methods to be used in a complementary way, through an efficient design of these facilities.

If you are interested in continuing to learn more about solar energy, how to implement this and other types of renewable energy, we recommend that you visit the section of our blog dedicated to Renewable Energy.

If you want to specialize and be a master of renewable energies, the Master in Efficient Management of Renewable Energies is for you.

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